Despite the increase in meditation studies, the quality remains variable; many of them are trivial, and most remain unreplicated. Research on meditation has been plagued by insubstantial theorizing, global claims, and the substitution of belief systems for grounded hypotheses. Meditation punctures some of the myths about meditation, while retaining a place of value for mediation as a normal human function.
In each chapter includes discussion of the major questions addressed, followed by a detailed critique of important theoretical, clinical, and research issues. In several instances the reader may find that questions seem to beget questions: research bearing upon certain issues may be contradictory, or not yet of sufficient thoroughness. In these cases, the author suggests the specific future research necessary to resolve the questions posed, so that claims about meditation are justified, and which are not. The profession of psychology itself is, and has been, in a polarized debate between the "practitioners" and the "experimentalists." The latter accuse the former of being "soft, non-empirical, non-scientific," while practitioners accuse the experimentalists of conducting research which is essentially irrelevant to human concerns.
This approach provides a bridge between research and clinical practice. Meditation provides an encompassing survey of the topic--nearly forty tables and figures; sample questionnaires, evaluations and programs and a detailed overview of a controversial field. Shapiro separates self-regulation with self-delusion, to outline questions and possible answers.